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Brand: First Look Pictures
Elling is a slyly funny odd couple comedy about two misfits trying to find their place in the world. After a two-year stint in a state home in which the shy, neurotic Elling and the loud, sex-obsessed Kjell Bjarne became close friends, the pair are relea
This Norwegian comedy (nominated for an Academy Award®) concerns two men being released from a state home. Until the death of his mother, Elling rarely left the apartment where they lived; Kjell has lived in institutions most of his life and is obsessed with sex, as any virgin in his 30s might be. Thanks to a new social program, the two roommates are given an apartment in Oslo--if they can manage to live independently. At first simply answering the phone or buying groceries is a struggle, but as they taste freedom, their lives become an exciting adventure. In a Hollywood movie, these two would be cute goofballs; what makes Elling so very engaging is how genuinely awkward and uncomfortable Elling and Kjell are. Their difficulties in the world are treated with respect and realism, which makes their progress bracing and their success delightful. A charming film. --Bret Fetzer
|Edvard Munch-Special Edition 2-DVD Set
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This is the first commercial US release of the extended 2-part version of Peter Watkins
"Famously described by Ingmar Bergman as a ""work of genius"", Peter Watkins' multi-faceted masterpiece is more than just a bio-pic of the iconic Norwegian Expressionist painter. Focusing initially on Munch's formative years in late 19th Century Kristiania (now Oslo), Watkins uses his trademark style to create a vivid picture of the emotional, political and social upheavals that would have such an effect on his art.
The young artist (Geir Westby) has an affair with ""Mrs Heiberg"" (Gro Fraas), a devastating experience that will haunt him for the rest of his life, and his work is viciously attacked by the critics and public alike. He is forced to leave his home country for Berlin, where, along with the notorious
Swedish playwright August Strindberg, he becomes part of the cultural storm that is to sweep Europe.
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(Drama) Henry Chinaski (Dillon) considers himself a writer, and on occasion writes. Mostly he quests for the booze and women that sidetrack and seduce, rather than inspire greatness. When he falls for Jan (Lili Taylor), the soulful connection fails to
Matt Dillon lumbers through Factotum like a side of beef just starting to rot, lifting his chin in quiet, semi-comic reflections on the domestic squalor of a booze-ridden life. His slow, thick performance--as if he had something more viscous than blood running through his veins--has a weary gravitas that veers from wry resignation to bursts of violence that he regrets even as he's committing them. As Henry Chinaski (an alter ego of author Charles Bukowski), Dillon idly skips from job to job, seeking one that will allow him to continue his two pursuits: Writing and drinking. He gets enmeshed with one woman (Lili Taylor, I Shot Andy Warhol) and dallies with another (Marisa Tomei, In the Bedroom), but his only true love is the bottle. Despite this bleak storyline, Factotum proceeds with an almost lighthearted pace, each spare scene delivered with a dry, almost wistful tone of regret and flashes of gallows humor. Director Bent Hamer (Kitchen Stories) is from Norway and has a similar aesthetic to Finnish auteur Aki Kaurismaki (The Man Without a Past); sly slices-of-life that deliver bad news with a gentle, forgiving touch. --Bret Fetzer
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|Insomnia (The Criterion Collection)
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Brand: Image Entertainment
Disgraced Swedish detective Jonas Engström (Stellan Skarsgård) travels to northern Norway to solve a brutal murder in Insomnia. Unable to sleep through the night of the midnight sun, Engström quickly loses his grip on the case and his mind. Erik Skjoldbjærg's debut feature is a deft amalgam of psychological thriller, morality play, and police procedural. Criterion presents the DVD premiere of Insomnia in a new widescreen transfer.
This 1997 film from Norway and neophyte director Erik Skjoldbjærg delivers the goods with unsettling effectiveness. It's an intense, smart, and taut thriller if only because what it eerily implies is creepier than the film's reality. Opening with a churning, chilling murder of a young woman, Insomnia invites the viewer--as well as its protagonist, celebrated Oslo homicide cop Jonas Engström (Stellan Skarsgård)--into the mind and thoughts of a killer by making Engström fatally flawed himself. While in pursuit of the murderer, Engström makes a mistake; he accidentally shoots his partner and friend and covers up his deed in a panic. But he overlooks a minor detail: the real killer has seen him commit the crime. What ensues is a layered, complex, and unnerving descent into chaos, brought on by the inability to sleep in this land of the midnight sun. Engström suffers from insomnia, which warps his logic and resolve, and before long he's totally unraveled and unsure of his every move. But not before a twisty transference and countertransference occurs between cop and killer. The two play a game of high-stakes one-upmanship that surprises in the end. Insomnia is fresh and psychologically bent, full of Scandinavian despair and dark humor, and it boasts a film noir pulse beneath its blinding light. --Paula Nechak
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Anders Rønnow Klarlund's stunning new film imagines a mythical kingdom populated entirely by stringed puppets. The Emperor of Hebalon dies a dramatic death, taking a terrible secret to the grave with him. His young son, Hal Tara, is set to take over the throne, however, his uncle leads him to believe his father was murdered by the Zeriths, their sworn enemy. Forced to set out to avenge his father's death, Hal is unaware of the perils he is facing, both inside his kingdom and out. As he faces new challenges on this journey, he ends up discovering the truth about his own people - and where he least expects it - he finds true love. A dramatic tale of adventure, bondage and liberation; of love and war, destiny and vitality, identity and common humanity, Strings is a magical blend of themes that range from Shakespeare to Star Wars to The Lord of the Rings.
- Strings is a mythological story about the son of a king, Hal Tara, who sets out on a journey to revenge the death of his father. To his surprise he discovers the truth of his own people - and where he least expects it - he finds true love. Format: DVD MOVIE Genre: CHILDREN Rating: NR Age: 720917546322 UPC: 720917546322 Manufacturer No: FLV5463
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A Swedish researcher strikes up an unlikely friendship with a cranky Norwegian farmer in this "quirky, thoughtful and bittersweet" (Boxoffice) comedy that captured audiences hearts around theworld. Both "warm" (Newsday) and witty, Kitchen Stories is "a deadpan, thoroughly delightful comedy that cooks up tasty laughs" (New York Post)! It's the 1950s, and a Swedish efficiency expert under strict orders not to interact with his subject is sent to improve a Norwegian farmer's culinary efforts. But the sly old farmer much prefers to amuse himself by impeding the timid researcher's work! Soon, in the struggle between neutral observation and the need for human interaction, the kitchen becomes a battleground!
|Breaking the Waves
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Brand: Artisan Entertainment
When Bess, a naive young woman, marries Jan, a handsome oil-rig worker, she experiences passion and physical pleasure that she never imagined. Their bliss is cut short when an accident on the rig leaves Jan paralyzed. Believing he will never make love to Bess again, he tells her to take other lovers, convincing her that this will help his recovery. Bess is sent spiraling into a world of dark emotions she cannot understand
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Just as Knut Hamsun's novel, Hunger, considers what it means to starve for one's work, Danish director Henning Carlsen's film adaptation of Hunger portrays the story’s protagonist as an inscrutable man whose eccentric dedication to literature costs him his health. Hunger, the first Scandinavian co-production to represent Denmark, Sweden, and Norway in its making, takes place in 1890's Christiania (Oslo), where Pontus (Per Oscarsson) perseveres homelessness and starvation to write articles for a local magazine editor. Filmed in grainy black and white, Hunger is as thoughtfully subtle as an Ingmar Bergman film. Pontus's washed-out hallucinations recall The Seventh Seal, while his preoccupation with the lovely Ylajali (Gunnel Lindblom), whose name he invents because of the way the name rolls off his tongue, recalls the romanticism of Wild Strawberries. Scenes showing Pontus considering how to steal bones from dogs, or pleading with his boots to stay on his feet, capture his self-inflicted tragedy, while other scenes depicting citizens refusing to help Pontus earn money elicit sympathy for his plight. Watching this film alongside Hamsun, a wonderful biography of the author, shows similarities between the author and his most famous character, Pontus, not due to Knut Hamsun’s poverty or sketchy mental facility, but rather his undying commitment to skepticism and literature. Hunger, however, quiets those personality traits, making Pontus as sensitive as he is uncompromising. --Trinie Dalton
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Brand: Repnet LLC
Model: Year 4 Film 1
Hawaii, Oslo is the story of a handful of desperate people whose paths cross on the hottest day of the year in Oslo. Frode and Milla have their first child, but learn he will not live long without an expensive operation they cannot afford. Bobbie-Pop is a faded singer who tries to commit suicide. Leon is an institutionalized mental patient, who hopes to keep a 10-year-old date on his birthday with his teenage sweetheart. Leons brother, Trygve, gets a weekend leave from prison to be with Leon on his birthday, but plans on using the furlough to escape. Overseeing Leon and protecting him is his guardian angel Vidar, Leons best buddy at the institution, who sees things no one else can see, and who may be able to save everyone - except himself…
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Brand: Repnet LLC
Kristoffer's love life is on the rocks. But what can you expect from a guy who likes to videotape himself and his friends pulling outrageous stunts? So when Kristoffer's video diary winds up at a popular TV show, it's not just his love life that turns upside down. A vibrant young cast explores the true meaning of friendship and love in a heart-warming story about hi jinks, crazy roommates and reality television.
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